Wyr Culture

Social Hierarchy

Wyr have an understanding of social hierarchies as they are practiced in other nations. They know what kings, lords, and high councils are and usually abide by the laws of the lands they pass through or live in. When it comes to being a citizen of another nation, it becomes quickly apparent that the Wyr usually take their view on lords and kings from old ballads, sharing an old-fashioned, stalwart view on oaths, loyalty and fealty.

Characteristics

Personality

Wyr are self-reliant people, usually very much set on taking care of their own troubles or helping others. Protecting others is a trait that comes easily to them, they share a warrior-spirit that is quite typical for the race. The Wyr’s attunement to nature is not one of “love all and harm none,” Wyr understand that nature is hard, death is part of all life, and all that is born will ultimately have to die. They see their own role in that pattern as exactly that; they are hunters as much as hunted. This knowledge leads to them living their lives intensely, they know the Dark Hunter (as they call Death) is out to get them, and they will make him work hard for his ultimate success. Things like pacifism or suicide are hard to understand for the Wyr, as the first means denying the nature of life itself, and the second means giving up before it is necessary. When it comes down to it, a Wyr will always fight.

Wyr have an extremely strong instinct for survival; even severely wounded, they fight to protect themselves and others. To the Wyr, Death is the Dark Hunter, and they will compete with him to the last breath.

Grooming and Hygiene

Like most other intelligent species on Aereth, the Wyr understand the link between hygiene and good health. They wash off in cold streams, rivers, lakes, or in bathhouses and bathing rooms in settlements and private residences.

Clothing

The Wyr to adopt the clothing style of the society they live with, so it varies from country to country and region to region. Most of them prefer practical and durable clothing made from leather, furs, and flax, especially for those that live on the Amber Islands and in Caer Draenár.

Livelihood

Like most things with the Wyr, this differs depending on where the Wyr lives. Wyr are great at making several herbal remedies, medicines, and magical materials from the plants of the wild, they also brew a draught they call seven-waters, which strengthens them but makes other races very drunk. Despite its tendency to cause inebriation, it is still good for health. They do trade these things, as they trade their short, hard hunting bows. They keep livestock and hunt in the forests, they grow a plant known as “silken flax” that they spin (or give to others to spin) into beautiful linens. Most of all, Wyr trade their skills in the wild and with the sword, to serve those in needs of scouts or fighters.

Morality

Wyr have almost no marriage rituals of their own, they usually marry according to the customs of the land they happen to live in, or if they live among Wyr alone, they do not marry at all. They simply declare that they are building a lair together, and that’s that.

To Wyr, such a union might last a lifetime or only one summer, and both are perfectly fine. Some partners are made to always hunt side by side, and others will have to see sooner or later that “the Hawk and the Wolf must hunt separately again,” as the Wyr saying goes.

Wyr have no concept of children out of wedlock or other related concepts. Children remain with one partner, should a lair-couple split up, usually with the one whom the child shares a similar shape. Should a child lose both parents, another Wyr or a clan will adopt it. To Wyr, all life is a gift by the mother, no matter how it began.

Death & Death Rituals

Wyr do not bury their dead nor let them be burned. They bring their bodies “to rest in the grass” and “to return into the arms of the mother,” meaning that they simply leave the bodies somewhere in the wilds to decompose. In cultures that take a very dim view of such unhealthy practices, Wyr usually compromise by covering the bodies with enough soil, so they do not lie in the open, but they will still prefer to do that somewhere away from settlements and people.

Wyr do not build memorials for their fallen. They do commemorate them in stories, songs, and their rites of remembrance.